- Posted by Giaco Furino
- On September 2, 2015
- 0 Comments
- carrie, pet sematary, stand by me, stephen king, the mist, the running man, the shawshank redemption, the shining
Here at CONtv we know that there are so many areas of fandom and so few hours in the day. In order to help you decide if a specific genre, sub-genre, artist, or hobby is worth the investment of your time, we present CONtv 101. A series of “introductory level courses”,CONtv 101 is NOT your typical “best of” list. The purpose of each course is to provide you with a strong, basic understanding of each topic through a carefully selected syllabus.
Course Description: Stephen King is, hands down, the master of modern horror. Not only is he shockingly prolific—he’s written over 50 novels since 1974, and countless short stories and novellas, too—he’s also one of the most-adapted authors out there. Don’t know where to start with Stephen King? Why not watch a few movies?
The Shining (1980)
We’ll start this course of with a classic, and perhaps the most-recognizable Stephen King adaptation. But don’t look at this film by Stanley Kubrick as a direct adaptation. It’s way off, and Stephen King’s even been fairly vocal in his disliking the film. Still, it’s a masterpiece, and worth watching.
The Mist (2007)
Based on an extremely stressful novella of King’s, The Mist is all about a strange mist that rolls into town and carries with it other-dimensional monsters. While those creatures are terrifying enough, the real horror comes from the way the locals turn on each other when the going gets tough. Add to that one of the most heart-gutting endings to any of King’s stories, and this movie, like its source material, is a wholly affecting work.
Stand By Me (1986)
Based on a King novella, this 1986 classic follows four boys as they find a dead body out in the woods. A tale of the loss of innocence, Gordie, Chris, Terry, and Vern navigate the woods of Oregon searching for the body. As their personal stories interweave with boyhood drama and dilemmas, we’re left with a heartwarming (and some would say out-of-character) work from the master of the macabre.
Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie, was also his first major adapted work. And it shot him into superstardom instantly. The story follows Carrie, played by a young Sissy Spacek, as a girl who learns that she has telekinetic powers. This is one of those movies that gets down into your guts and won’t let go, and shows how good a King adaptation can be when you stick close to the source material.
The Running Man (1987)
Based on a King short story, The Running Man takes place in the year 2017 and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a man who gets caught up in a sick game show. To win a billion dollars, he has to run from the police and bounty hunters for a month. Classic Arnold, classic bleak-future Stephen King.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This course wouldn’t be complete without some non-horror represented on the syllabus. Tim Robbins plays an inmate who’s been wrongfully convicted of the murder of his wife and spends his time befriending Morgan Freeman’s character Red, and scheming for a way to get out of prison. A must-watch, with powerful performances all around.
Pet Sematary (1989)
This professor of geek-culture happens to think that Pet Sematary is all-around Stephen King’s best work. As a novel, it packs an emotional punch unlike any of his other books. As an adaptation, it features a creepy premise (there’s an ancient burial ground beyond the pet cemetery where things come back from the dead), Fred Gwynne (aka Herman Munster), a theme song by the Ramones, and a terrifying black cat.
Total Course Hours: 14 Hours